A Newark man accused of sexually assaulting and killing his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter was in tears as he pleaded not guilty
in a state court today (Wednesday April 29, 2009).
With his family members attempting to console him with utterances of "don't cry" from the audience, Everett Sheppard
, 22, entered the plea through public defender Sterling Kinsale.
the baby and her 2-year-old brother were left in Sheppard's care by their mother, Shelia Troutman, while she went to a Burger King restaurant on a Friday morning.
When Troutman returned, the baby was in cardiac arrest. The infant was rushed to University Hospital and pronounced dead soon after arrival.
X-rays taken at the hospital indicated the child had been sexually assaulted, he said. Multiple fractures were found, including cracked ribs. Some of the wounds on her body were inflicted before the date of the assault
, Neafsey added.
But it was the medical examiner's autopsy results that showed the baby died of blunt force trauma to the infant's head and body that led to murder charges, he said.
The child's mother, Sheila Troutman, has not been charged.